Grace Ma

The Squirrel

I saw a dead squirrel on the road today.
A tire-shaped patch of fur smack in the middle of the concrete.
I wondered what he was thinking before
he went flat.

Gathering nuts and seeds for the winter,
With beady eyes, a featherlike tail, a constantly twitching nose.
As he scurries zealously up and down quiet, vigilant trees,
he clutches too many acorns in paws too small.
And he drops one.
That rolls across the road.

Perhaps he couldn’t let the precious thing go.
And stepped out foolishly onto the asphalt.
A low rumbling
The ground vibrating
A rapidly nearing fate
Blinding lights glare before…

Once so vibrant, now the image of death.
Crows gather on quiet, vigilant trees.
A squirrel can die from old age, disease, my cat.
Or end up tire-printed and flat.
But with countless squirrels in the world
Who would cherish such an insignificant life?


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